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Incident Command System
The Incident Command System, or ICS, is a standardized on-scene management system for emergency responders. ICS is based upon a flexible, scalable response organization providing a common framework within which people can work together effectively. These people may be drawn from multiple agencies that do not routinely work together, and ICS is designed to give standard response and operation procedures to reduce the problems and potential for miscommunication on such incidents. The system’s strength lies in its modular nature and its ability to expand and contract with the complexity and severity of an event.
Standardized Emergency Management System
The Standardized Emergency Management System, or SEMS, was established by the state of California to provide effective management of multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional emergencies within the state. The system incorporates the principles of the Incident Command System (ICS), as well as existing mutual aid systems in order to form a comprehensive plan that is used by almost every city, county and special district in the state. The core principles of SEMS are aid in communication and response by providing a common management system and language. It is intended to facilitate the flow of information within and between levels of the system, and facilitate coordination among all responding agencies.
National Incident Management System
The National Incident Management System, or NIMS, is a system developed by the federal government and used across the country to coordinate emergency preparedness and incident management among various federal, state, and local agencies. Like SEMS, NIMS is based on the standardized and flexible Incident Command System and is designed to allow diverse agencies to work together effectively to prepare for and respond to emergencies.
The chart below illustrates how all these systems come together to form a multi-agency coordination system in Orange County.